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a fight for a supremacy, and fewer still were there who did not know that such a fight would be terrible, and not improbably draw all Europe into its vortex. The British Public foresaw this, and through the Press gave many a warning voice. The Army, whether Regular or Reserve, saw it too, and doubting its ruler's wisdom, cut off a limb and dreaded the result.
The Public and the Army could only guess the future, and balance omens. The times looked bad, but the authorities derided the idea, and to shew their confidence in a peaceful future, dismissed soldiers by thousands.
Wonderful wisdom ! Exquisite foresight! Adinirable economy ! and yel why should this have been ? If the public, with nothing more tangible than omens to work with, shadowed out eventualities; surely those having access to all information and an unlimited purse to draw uponi, should have been certain, and by preparation have been prepared for what has occurred. The time of an almost certain war in Europe was ill-chosen for driving our skilled mechanics into enigration, and our soldiers to the bighways and work houses. Cominon sense must have recommended less ha-ty proceedings, and coinmon sense added to experience should liave forewarned that neutrality is a difficult and thankless part to play, and that whichever side became victorious it would be elated with conquest, illdisposed to respect treaties, and unlikely to be any the more friendly with us for being neutral, or, as unable as unwilling to desend our honour.
However, crying over spilled milk is useless. The belief in a lasting peace, or the pandering to the Manchester school has been injurious to the best interests of our country. It has caused foreign nations to lose respect for us, and to ignore treaties to which our signatures have been appended, and it will cause an expenditure of inillions. Penny wisdom is pound foolery, and the paltry economy which saved a few thousands of revenue by disinissing trained soldiers, is ill-balanced by the expenditure of millions in bribing the same to return, or trying to replace them with an ir ferior article. Doubtless among the twenty thousand soldiers turned adrift, many were weakly, many objectionable characters, and not a few tremendous blackguards; but the majority were healthy, and of standard height and width of chest, besides being efficient in the knowledge of their profession. In their places we have infants, and have been forced to reduce the Recruiting standard to five feet three and four with a chest measurement of thirty-three and even thirty. This is cor Army of the future! This the thing we purpose loading with a rifle, ammunition, and knapsack. This the thing to oppose, the wiry Russian, active Ainerican, powerful Fenian, or stalwart Prussian! Why one week's marching, or two nights in a damp trench would kill him. With such tobacco-pipe soldiers as these, we are barely a match for a Bengalee.
Surely something can be done to improve our present position. It is evident that thie plan of increasing the strength of the Army by voluntary enlistment has failed, and that it is impolitic, if not something worse, to delay longer in finding a better. Men we mu-t have, strong, good, and usefui men ; and we must have also au ariny second to none in mobility, tactical knowledge, and utility. Can this be managed ?
Volunteer enlistment, without doubt, is the simplest method to raise soldiers. It only requires money. Pay high wages, and offer many advantages, and inen full of enthusiasm, men in search of glory, men wanting employ, and men wanting money, can be obiained in thousands; but when the advantages offered are infinitesinal, pay far below wages, liberty none at all, and hard knocks pretty certain, voluntary enlistment breaks down. The strong mail, fairly well-fed always, respectable by birih, and hoping to better humself is not a candidate for employment here. Tired as he is of uncertain living and a not unfrequent empty stomach ; still he has his liberty, the chances of beitering hiinself, and the pleasure of home. The inducements to enlist are not sufficient for him, and are such as could only meet acceptance by half-growo boys or men that " are wanted.”
As we have said before, higli wages will get anything, but these cannot be afforded. We want the country defended. We want the country respected, and we want these things done at a reasonable cost, and, if possible, without undue pressure on any par
ticular class of the population. For remember a conscription, call it · ballot, or pressing, falls very heavily on the poorer meinbers of the
community. The bread-winner of the family may be taken, the one most worthy may be selected, and those dependant on their exertions are driven on the parish. Conscription may give soldiers at a cheap rate, but it does not give willing ones, and it leaves a residue of dissatisfied employers and relations, to say nothing of weeping women.
The quantity of men requisite to furnish garrisons for our Colonial possessions is difficuli to obtain at our recruiting price ; but when to this is added the numbers for unliealthy and distant places, such as China and India, can we be surprised that the establishment cannot be maintained, much more increased ? General service is the bane of our army.
It is a fact well known, that the old East India Company had no difficulty in finding recruits for their service, and yet the pay was sinall, and the bounty no more than offered elsewhere, and why was this? Siinply because there were many prizes in the lottery of a soldier's live in the service of the Honorable Fast India Company. A cominission was not infrequent, and with it cama pay and staff appointments enabling the recipient to support bis new position. There were, too, numerous well paid appointments for non-commissioned officers on the roads, in the bazaars, jails, and cantonments, and Native regiments. In short, to any fairly steady, and intelligent man there were prospects of improving his condition. If he married he could support a wife, and live respectably. If he remained a bachelor, he might save money, and, at the expiration of his term service, retire on a pension, and live in comfort for the rest of his life.
India offers more advantages now than in those days. The introduction of a net-work of railroads, canals, tramways, &c., &c., gives more appointments requiring Enropean superintendence. The staff of the army is little changed, and English capital is interested in the developement of her resources. With a knowledge of all this, why should we not return to the old system of an European Army for India ? Men and officers can be had without difficulty, and this done, we should be free to make other terms by which a better class of men would be obtained for home service.
Open out clerkships in Somerset House, War Office, Horse Guards, &c., to deserving non-cominissioned officers. Enlist for short terms, and be careful as to the character of the man accepted as a recruit; and iwice twenty thousand men could be obtained in two month's time without bounty, much increase of pay, or flaming advertisements. Many a prolessional man with a large family of stout sons would then allow them to enlist. The short service would curb the tendency to disobedience in youth, and instil in them habits of regularity ; at the same time, by its brevity, prevent them being withdrawn from any future civil opening, or losing their affection and respect for home-ties. The chances of clerkship in Government offices would be a stimulant to exertion, and good behaviour, and would enable a poor man to support the position of a gentleman, were the commission of ensigu not seldomi attached to the same. The continuation of the services of short service men in the Reserve would form a valuable nucleus for defensive purposes, and tend to make the Army popular.
So much for a hoine Regular Ariny, but with that improved and made desirable, it would never do to leave the Militia and Volun. teers in their present inefficient state. The Militia need not be increased in numbers. Its present strength being quite in proportion to the Regular Army necessary for British Home Service, but the quality of min taken should be improved and billeting abolished. It is impossible for discipline and proper supervision to be observed when young men are allowed to wander about the streets of a city all night. A parent or guardian naturally has a horror of a growing lad being exposed to such temptations. At present the entry of a young man's name on the books of the Militia Regiment of his county is but too frequently the signal for his disinissal from employment. Three weeks association with and night strolling over the pavements of a city, does not make the said young man a better servant, or a desirable addition to the in habiiant of a country village.
For the Volunteer Force place it under more direct military superintendence, and do away with the absurd regulations which allow all to be independent of authority. The Volunteer is not forced to enter the Service, but having done so with bis own free will and choice, surely it is not too much to expect that he shall make him-elf thoroughly efficient, and implicitly obey all instructions received ? Why should a soldier in the Regular Army, or Militia, be forced to attend all parades and to exert himself so that he may not be found wanting on the day of trial, and the Volunteer be at liberty to learn as much or as little as he likes, and prove but a broken reed when his services are demanded ? Is it too much for the respectability of the tradesman or young farmer (the class froin which the Volunteer ranks are chiefly recruited) to be obliged to obey every order of those in authority over them, and to consider attendance on parade for a given length of time and exaininations as to capabilities, as much a point of duty as selling dry goods, shearing sheep, or enjoyments at home. The country deinands the services of all classes, and the time has come when the liberty of the subject must yield to necessity.
Experience teaches the writer that the useful and best men in all services, inore especially in that of the Volunteer, are not the o'jectors to hard work, systematic teaching, or greater strictness. The free and independent Briton, great at parish meetings, lining his nest, not particular as to quantity or quality in his dealings, and passing for what he is not, is the skulk. This is the man always talking of resigning, and who attends to spoil an inspection or a review, and creates a feeling of insubordination in a corps. To him an order is an insult. His superior intelligence obviates the necessity for much attention. His respectability demands consideration, (generally a commission) and his position an exemption from orders affecting less valuable clay.
If time is so valuable to these men, and trade everything, in Heaven's name let them keep clear of the Army. Let them do buxtering, and shameless look on at others learning how to defend their hearths and homes ; but do not let the Authorities be led by the opinions of such as these. With them “no time ” means loss of money, and peace at all price is only another cry, for money is our God.
In another article it is purposed to shew how the Regulars Militia, and Reserve Forces may be worked together, and a kuowledge of offensive and defensive warfare acquired at a small additional expense to the country, and yet sufficient to make foreign nations respect treaties, our neutrality, and our resources.
BEN BURTON, OR, BORN AND BRED AT SEA.
By WILLIAM H. G. Kingston.
The brig was ours, but we were not to be allowed to carry her off without a struggle. There were certainly not less than twenty prows, each of thein carrying from filty to a hundred men, and though the frigate's guns would have dispersed them like chaff before the wind, she was too far off to render us any assistance. We had therefore to depend upon the guns of the brig for our defence. They had all been discharged probably by her former crew who liad struygled desperately in her defence. Several of them lay about the deck, cut down when the pirates boarded. They appeared to be Dutchmen with iwo or three natives. One of the mates and I, with a couple of men, were ordered down in merijately we got on board to bring up shot and powder from the magazine. On our way I looked into the cabin. There, a sight inet my eyes which made me shudder. Close to the entrance lay on his back a tall, fine looking old gentleman with silvery locks, while further in, two young women, their skin somewhat dark, but very handsome, they seemed to me, and well-dressed, lay, cla-ped in each other's arms, perfectly dead. It seemed as if the same bullet had killed them both. We had no time however to make further observations, but hurrying down we found that the inagazine was open. Weimmediately sent up a supply of powder, as well as round shot, which were stowed not far off. We were hurrying on deck again, when I thought I saw something glittering under the ladder. It was a inai's eye. Repressing the impulse to cry out, I told Esse what I had seen. At the same moment we sprang down and seized the man, Esse receiving a severe cut as we did so. At the same instant a pistol bullet whistled by my ear. It was shot at the magazine, but happily it was at too great a distance to allow the flash to ignite the powder. Fortunately my right hand was free, and drawing my dirk, I pinned our antagonist through the throat to the deck. He still struggled, but another blow from my companion silenced him for ever. I felt a sensation come over me I had never before experienced, but it was not a time to give way to my feelings. Had I not discovered the man, we should probably in a few minutes have all been blown into the air. The prows were coming rapidly on.
"If we had a breeze we should do well,” observed our commanding officer, “but if not we shall bave tough work to keep these fellows off.” Our guns were loaded and run out. “We must not throw a shot away,” observed the lieutenant. He kept looking out in hopes of a breeze. The topsails had been loosened and all